Programme/year: OneMBA Class of 2015
Job title: Director and IT Consultant
Company: Vitalis Consultancy Ltd @ Lloyds Banking Group
Previous degrees: BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science from University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria, and BSc in Computer Studies from London South Bank University
1. Why did you decide to join the OneMBA?
“I realised I needed two things: To determine the natural next steps in my career path and explore my desire to become an entrepreneur.”
2. How is the OneMBA experience affecting your work?
“I’m more practical when presented with complex problems and approach them with an ease l did not have previously. On the Personal Leadership Development course, which is quite unique to the OneMBA programme, you learn the virtues for authentic and principled leadership from both a personal and business standpoint. Now, I consider not only what and how I communicate but also, its impact on others; does it motivate to action or not. Especially working in a fast-paced environment, it was not something I have paid much attention to in the past. I feel that my contributions during conversations are much richer, and l’m more comfortable seeking feedback from superiors even though I saw this as a weakness previously. I’m using this opportunity to improve and grow as an authentic leader.”
3. What is the return on investment that you expect from funding your OneMBA?
“For me, it’s really about my personal development and not so much the need to increase my monetary value. The OneMBA challenges me to get out of my comfort zone and think outside the box. I am now considering opportunities l wouldn’t have considered in a million years.”
4. How has the Personal Leadership Development programme (PLD) affected you?
“At first, I couldn’t understand the point of it. When people talk about leadership, it is usually from the viewpoint of leading others and personal leadership is never factored into it. However, it is indeed an important aspect of leadership to consider. People only have to refer to the newspapers for examples of leaders who have failed due to their lack of personal leadership to realise how important PLD is to a 21st century leader. That was my ‘Aha! moment’. Softer skills gleaned from PLD actually make us better leaders. It should be given as much attention as subjects like finance and economics.”
5. Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?
“Everyone processes information differently. Speaking the same language, English in my case, doesn’t necessarily mean you understand things the same way. Of course you expect that, but when confronted by it, it’s a surprise. In addition, I work mostly with male colleagues so it’s a good experience for me to work closely with other women. The OneMBA is teaching me to be more accommodating and to appreciate that people work differently. Each member of the team brings amazing insights to the team. At the end of the day, you need people to run a business and without them, a business wouldn’t exist.”
6. With your busy schedule, how do you manage the cross-continental projects?
“I find that my weekends are spent reading and getting assignments done. For cross-continental projects, we have teleconferences during the week or weekends depending on everyone’s availability and looming assignment deadlines. Usually, we divide tasks and work as a project team to cover all requirements. Final deliverables are then pulled together and reviewed before submission. It works well for the most part. Like work projects, you will faces challenges you have to work through.”
7. What was your favourite part of the Global Residencies?
“The guest speakers have all been insightful. They’ve covered hot-off-the-press news and real life business cases. I have also enjoyed the networking in the evening and dinner with colleagues from the other schools. We work hard but also find time for relaxation and fun.”
8. What has been the best part of the OneMBA for you so far?
“There are lots of great parts. For instance, l dropped economics from my chosen subjects as soon as l could in secondary school and concentrated on the sciences. Now, l wish l had not. The lecturer at RSM really brought economics to life and showed us just how relevant it is to every aspect of our lives. What an eye opener!”
9. After the OneMBA, what does the future hold?
“It is a cliché but l truly feel the world is my oyster. There is a world outside the banking sector in the City of London. By graduation in June 2015, l would be equipped with the skills and confidence to pursue various business avenues; achieving this goal would make me a very happy woman indeed.”